Impacting Key Issues
Working with suppliers
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Shrinking environmental footprints
Boeing's commitment to its corporate environmental strategy has prompted support for sharing information and best practices with suppliers to encourage them to set targets for reducing their own environmental footprints.
“Research shows that if these companies become more competitive and successful in shrinking their environmental footprints they also help to improve the environment in their local communities,” said Herbert Lust, Global Corporate Citizenship strategic programs director.
Because smaller companies generally have less money and time to invest in tools and training, especially small, minority-, veteran- and women-owned suppliers, Boeing's Global Corporate Citizenship is collaborating with The Natural Step, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to education, advisory work and research in developing ways to improve their environmental performance.
“The Natural Step participants are a community of people working together to learn from one another.”
—Regina Hauser, executive director of The Natural Step.
Companies that have worked with The Natural Step have reduced recruiting costs, improved employee productivity, increased revenue and even lowered insurance costs, according to Regina Hauser, executive director of The Natural Step.
Boeing has introduced The Natural Step program to some of its suppliers in Oregon and Southern California to encourage them to sign up for a full 100-Day Natural Step Program that will run through next year.
“Boeing has set some aggressive environmental targets as part of its broader business strategy,” said Steve Mason, senior manager, Environmental, Health and Safety. “As part of our strategy to meet those objectives, we are starting to share information and best practices with our suppliers to encourage them to make decisions that improve their environmental performance. Together, we can then learn from one another to help each of us reduce its environmental footprint.”
As part of this voluntary program, The Natural Step assists each company in setting its own environmental performance targets that could include reducing energy use, reducing waste, increasing recycling, or using less water.
In the final phase, when tangible results begin to emerge – such as reduced dependence on scarce resources or lower carbon footprints – participants share best practices about innovative actions each business is pursuing.
“The Natural Step participants are a community of people working together to learn from one another,” Hauser said.